Neal Gabler with Catching the Wind: Edward Kennedy and the Liberal Hour, 1932-1975

WED, DEC 9, 2020

“Catching the Wind” is the first volume of Neal Gabler’s two-volume biography of Edward Kennedy. It is at once a human drama, a history of American politics in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Though he is often portrayed as a reckless hedonist who rode his father’s fortune and his brothers’ coattails to a Senate seat at the age of thirty, the Ted Kennedy in “Catching the Wind” is one the public seldom saw. He entered the Senate with his colleagues’ lowest expectations, a show horse, not a workhorse, but he used his “ninth-child’s talent” of deference to and comity with his Senate elders to become a promising legislator. And with the deaths of his brothers John and Robert, he was compelled to become something more: the custodian of their political mission.

BPL President David Leonard will moderate this program, part of the Arc of History: Contested Perspectives series.

This conversation is part of the esteemed Lowell Lecture Series at the Boston Public library. The event is free to the public.

+ BIO: Neal Gabler

Neal Gabler, Senior Fellow at the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, is an author, cultural historian, and film critic. His first book, An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Theatre Library Association Award. His second book, Winchell: Gossip, Power and the Culture of Celebrity, was named non-fiction book of the year by Time magazine. Newsweek calls his most recent book, Walt Disney: The Triumph of American Imagination, “the definitive Disney bio.”

+ BIO: David Leonard

David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library, leads the 170-year old institution, one of Boston’s great educational, cultural and civic treasures. David began working at the BPL in 2009, bringing a wealth of experience from the technology, management and consulting fields. Appointed president by the Library’s Board of Trustees and Mayor Martin J. Walsh in June 2016, David’s focus is on developing the BPL as a twenty first century institution providing dynamic library experiences to the residents of Boston, of Massachusetts and beyond.

Prior to his appointment as President, David served as Interim President for one year. During that time he focused on the completion of the $78 million renovation of the Central Library in Copley Square, which opened in July 2016, as well as a significant number of branch and collections management improvement projects, enhancing access and the customer experience; collaborating with city departments and with local cultural institutions; and supporting Mayor Walsh’s arts and culture vision. During his time at the Boston Public Library David has also served as Director of Administration & Technology, acting Director of Administration & Finance, acting Chief Financial Officer, and Chief Technology Officer. He led the Library’s capital improvement project for the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center, worked to modernize the library’s technology infrastructure - including the migration to the new Integrated Library System, and deployment of new Pay-for-Print Systems system wide - and oversaw master planning and design for the renovation of the Central Library in Copley Square.

David initially pursued an academic career, transitioned to the non-profit sector, and then spent ten years in the private IT consulting world in roles that spanned business development, management, and technology consulting, working on both strategic and tactical projects and services. David is currently enrolled in a PhD program in Library Information Science at Simmons College. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Mathematics and a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from the University College Dublin. Photo Credit: Boston Public Library

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